So, about my desk…
There are work spaces here at The Repository that could grace the pages of Architectural Digest. (Looking at you, Marketing Department).
There are some here that are so neat and organized, they could bring a tear to the eye of a drill sergeant.
My work area is not one of those work areas.
Somewhere between Three Mile Island and Marie Kondo, mine is a, well, “working” desk, where have-to-do assignments and good intentions jockey for space.
Perhaps because I also cover religion, I have a pair of toy nuns. One is a windup who spits fire and has a ruler in hand, a gift from a former co-worker who attended Catholic school. This seems patently unfair to nuns, given I’ve never met one I didn’t like.
The second nun, who’s holding a prayer book, is encased in a snow globe. She doesn’t appear to be angry about it.
My desk also has a toy shark, the origins of which I can’t remember. I also have backup coffee cups and plethora of reference books from Bibles to Qurans, to British and American dictionaries, local history books, to a book of quotes, two thesauruses and a hardback copy of the U.S. Constitution.
I’ve worked here long enough that the collection of telephone numbers for sources has outstripped my capacity to properly organize them.
The same goes for my story ideas folder and books people have lent and mailed me that I haven’t read because I can’t stop going to the library.
Like any writer, I have an ego display of some of the writing awards I’ve been given.
My cubicle walls are covered with cartoons clipped from the newspaper, a mini shrine to Lou Gehrig (one of my favorite athletes and human beings) and photos of Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean, which need no explanation.
There also are a few cute-kid photos and one of my great-grandfathers from the 1920s at his job.
A clipped photo of the late Col. Charles Young reminds me daily of a story I have on my to-do list about his home, which has been designated a historic landmark.
A psychologist probably could have a field day trying to interpret the other materials, which include Orthodox icons, Calvin & Hobbes and images of JFK, Amy Winehouse, a 1959 Cadillac convertible exactly like the one from my childhood, Janet Jackson and Michael Corleone.
There’s also a slogan from Marty Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post: “If you’re not breaking news, you need to be breaking ground.”